Polar Shift (2005)

After enjoying Cussler's latest novel, The Chase, I'm back on the quest to read his older works. Polar Shift is the follow up novel to Lost City, and is in the NUMA files series. It is cowritten with Paul Kemprecos, as the other novels in this series are.

In typical Cussler form, this author takes a bit of scientific theory, and educates the reader in it, while weaving a plot around it. From the title, it's not exactly a spoiler to tell you that the novel revolves around the pole shift theory that hypothesizes that the north and south poles could be reversed at some point with devastating consequences. Along the way we meet a Hungarian scientist that was smuggled out of Europe. Cussler also takes us to some far off places, including the Aleutian Islands (he has used them before, I believe in Black Wind). While up North, we also get a front row seat on a wooly mammoth dig. Also, only Cussler could pull off a car chase involving a Stanley Steamer.

While not as excellent as Lost City, it is still a strong novel. It has a strong "Cussleresque" feel to it ( to coin a term). My criticism is that I would have liked to see more of the Cussler universe of characters in it, although Dirk Pitt did make a cameo appearance at a car show (where else?). Still, the usual cast of maritime experts would have really completed this work. If you're a fan of Cussler, Polar Shift is still one of his better works.

Overall Grade: A-

Reviewed by Jonas

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